OMG GRUB2 so doesn’t work with GRUB 1.5

I mentioned to both Aris and CC about not being able to get GRUB going, but as it turns out, OpenSUSE had overwritten my 1st 9.04 Xubuntu configuration’s GRUB with it’s own (I believe 1.5) but I’d installed OpenSUSE on a secondary 1.0 TB drive…. when I reformatted that 1.0 TB drive from within a Windows 7 boot cycle it decimated the MBR / GRUB setup.  I thought a fresh install of 9.10 Ubuntu 64 bit Desktop would cure the “Error 17” woes I was encountering.  It didn’t.  I thought, perhaps I needed to edit the device.map file or the /boot/grub/menu.lst “list” file.  Nope.  None of this fixed the problem.  But you know what?  I kept going.  Because, like all things Linux, if you’re full of hate and things don’t work, that means it’s time to hunker down. FWIW there are 37 pages on the Ubuntu Forums discussing this error and that’s just one thread of many .  As it turns out 9.10 Karmic Koala runs a different version of GRUB (GRUB 2, specifically) and they are not compatible.  I found a utility called Super Grub Disk and booted it.  It was kind enough to give me more than an “Error 17” or an “Error 21”, it told me in fact explicitly that there was a GRUB versioning issue.

The problem was in the versioning and not where the files were pointing (hd0,0 or hd1,1 sda1, sdb6, etc).  Thankfully from within the Super Grub Disk utility I was able to revert the master boot record (MBR) back to native Windows 7 boot and then from there re-booting into Super Grub I was able to boot directly into 9.10.  Once in 9.10 (and not on a rescue/live CD) I was able to run Synaptic Package Managers’ update.  During the Synaptic Update (code: sudo apt-get install update) 9.10 re-overwrote the MBR with GRUB 2 and it worked.  I can now boot either Windows 7 or 9.10 no problem.

My hope is to try the .22 (near release) of MythTV and see if that helps me in my backend woes.  MCE & Win7 work fine but doesn’t have the scheduling or Apache features of MythTV.  Worst case scenario I need to make a friend at the hacker’s space in NYC (http://www.nycresistor.com/) who actually understands channel mapping tables in MYSQL for QAM ATSC (free and clear) digital cable tuning.  Currently the SliconDust HDHomeRun has each of its tuners plugged into the same QAM feed, which is good because now the antenna is gone, but bad as I’ve never gotten all the free digital cable channels to work reliably in MythTV.

Super Grub Disk

Super Grub Disk

Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10

Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10

Finally, a 3oz insulated espresso shot glass

Like many residents of this city an occasional stop at the “Starbucks Public Restroom Service” happens, but as I was waiting on line I found a set of Bodum 3oz Insulated Shot glasses with ounce increment markings for sale ($10.95).

As far as I can tell these do not exist on the internet and I think they are an older version of the Bodum Assam 2oz shot glass.  The glass I’d been searching for was from a specialty coffee distributor called Rattleware who make a 3oz mini shot pitcher, but these insulated Bodums (with a silicone pressure regulation seal at the bottom, no less) appear perfect for pulling up to 3oz shots and are certainly nicer to drink espresso out of.

Bodum Assam 2oz, the version I have has straight walls and 1 & 2oz interval markings, allowing up to 3oz total volume

Bodum Assam 2oz: the version I bought has parallel straight glass walls and two 1oz interval markings, allowing up to 3oz total volume

Rattleware 3oz Mini PItcher

Rattleware 3oz Mini Shot Pitcher

Advent Heritage Speakers

In what was probably the best street find of the year I found a pair these Advent Heritage towers, in decent shape.  The 8″ woofers need to be re-foamed. When I lived in DC I found a pair of old AR’s speakers on Capitol Hill  that had the same issue, anyhow, re-foaming doesn’t seem too difficult.

The Advent Heritage towers are about the equivalent of $1000 speakers in 2009 dollars.  They have a pecan wood top and front panel while the main paneling is sealed heavy MDF.  These things are solid and well made.  And amazingly, when I plugged one of them in, it worked fine and sounded good. Way better than the old Bose speakers we’d been using.  Zoe even remarked, “Huh, that does sound a lot clearer”.  The mids and the highs are much better and still not too much bass, which is good in an apartment building.

Below is the image of what is in our apartment now.  The Bose will be going into storage.

Advent Heritage Tower Speaker
Advent Heritage Tower Speaker

The French Press revisited

Like anything worth doing the French coffee press (aka the plunger press, press pot or cafetière) is an apparatus that requires a bit practice and forethought to perfect. Below are my current steps (the process) to French press perfection:

1) Fill both an electric tea kettle with filtered water & stove top kettle with non filtered water; add heat.

2) While the kettles boil grind your coffee.  I use a vintage PeDe wooden box hand grinder CC bought me, set to a fine grind, the burrs are snug but not tight, the grind is like coarse sand.

3) With the non-filtered water tea kettle at or near boiling pre-heat the press pot and plunger with hot water.  While you’re at it pre-heat (fill) your vacuum flask and your cup that you’re going to drink your coffee with.  Why?  Because or goal here is to keep the coffee temperature on the level, if everything is brought up to temperature your fluctuation will be minimized.

4) When your electric tea kettle dings give about 30 secs to 1 min off boil for the temperature to fall between 200-190 degrees F (93-88 °C).  Dump the hot water out of the press pot.  Your amount of ground coffee to water ratio is something of a personal preference.  Using a finer grind and longer wait time gives a richer, stronger extraction.  Typically, I use 4 TBSP of ground coffee and fill the pot with about 3 cups (.6 Liters) of water.  I generally find that if I want a completely full press pot I need over 5 level tablespoons.

5) I set my countdown timer for 4 minutes.   I stir the blooming fresh grounds for about 30 seconds before placing the plunger lid on the press pot. Wait.

6) Throw out hot water from your vacuum flash and drinking cup.  Pour hot press pot into your hot vessels, don’t pour out the dredge at the bottom of the press pot, generally the last couple of ounces have too much sludge.

7) Amaze your friends with piping hot coffee.

The French Press

The French Press

‘Gunks, Birdie Party and a short traverse

Bill L. and I took a trip up on Monday to the Shawangunks and the Trapps.  I can’t remember the first meandering “3 star” 5.8 we got on but it wasn’t particularly great.  The view from the top of the cliff line was though and the sun was out, so I couldn’t complain.  We hunted around the top until we found a rap anchor on a solid oak tree.  We walked down to the MAC wall with eight thousand other climbers and pet dogs running wild, tried to get on “Higher Stannard” but Bill took the line up “Something Interesting” instead.  It was longer than we anticipated and there was traffic at the top due to “The Route Formerly Known as Three Pines“, a solo-top roper and two other slow parties.

Thankfully all was not lost, Bill insisted we get on one last line up to the bolt anchors on “Birdie Party” just to the right about 15ft of “Higher Standard“.  He climbed up to the bolts and then did a wicked 20 foot almost no footed traverse to the 1st set of bolt anchors for “Mother’s Day Party“.  It was exciting to say the least.  Bill runs 1/2 ropes, the Petzl 8.2 Dragonflys, and when I unclipped from the 1st anchor he still had a cam and two slings around the pointed beginning of the hand traverse (rope #2) but from that point on it was, “just keep moving, nothing to see here”; don’t think about the swing.  The climbing on “Birdie Party” was the best face climbing we’d done all day and the hand traverse was icing on the cake.   The sun set as we rappelled off the 2nd bolt anchor and cold valley air permeated the crag; just another beautiful day climbing in the ‘Gunks.